Legal Updates

FLORIDA GEORGIA WATER WAR Florida has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to reject the conclusions of their appointed special master. In December, 2019 the special master, a New Mexico-based senior U.S. District Court of Appeals judge, concluded that mismanagement by Florida was the principal cause of the collapse of the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay; and that drought, rather than water diversion in Georgia, was a contributing factor.  

ICE DETAINEES A U. S. District Court judge has ordered the release of hundreds of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees from Florida detention facilities due to severe overcrowding and the inability to allow for social distancing. The judge is requiring the facilities be reduced to 75 percent capacity. Soap, cleaning materials and masks are to be provided to all remaining detainees.

GREYHOUND RACING Greyhound breeders, kennels and transport companies had sued to overturn Section 39 to Article X of the Florida Constitution. Amendment 13, which banned commercial dog racing in Florida, was passed by voters in 2018 with 69 percent of the vote. A U.S. District Court judge ruled against the plaintiffs by saying the investors knew, in the highly regulated dog racing industry, that laws could likely change and they should have been aware of the risks to their investments.

GUN PURCHASE RESTRICTION A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association challenging Florida’s 2018 law prohibiting the sale of all firearms to those under 21 years old may proceed. The law expands upon federal law prohibiting those under 21 from purchasing handguns. The trial is scheduled for January, 2021.